Luigi, is a tenacious fourty-year-old theatre director. He is rehearsing Shakespeare’s Othello in a suburban theatre. Ten days before the opening night, the main actors quit after having an argument with him.
Luigi is desperate and is about to leave his Shakespearian project. At the same time, he is under pressure because of Davide, a technician, and his continuous requests for money (he’s got some serious gambling debts). Another cause of stress is the contract with Mr Paloschi, the director of the theatre.
In the dressing room of the theatre, Luigi witnesses a jealous fit between Mario, the only actor left, and his girlfriend Sonia. Luigi is horrified by the violence of the argument and decides to give Mario the role of Othello and Sonia that of Desdemona.
Mario is a non-professional actor, and a schizophrenic. Luigi thinks he’s just discovered a lunatic and “unfiltered” actor. He hopes this “extreme” show will launch his career and pay for all his debts.
Mario, who is under medication, mixes up reality and imagination. He really believes he is Othello and therefore puts Sonia’s safety at risk. Sonia is also psychologically fragile because of a past of domestic violence.
Luigi seeks for Anna’s help. She is a young and bright psychotherapist, whom he met in the same institute where he first saw Mario. Anna does not agree with the way Luigi works, but she agrees to come to the rehearsals for the sake of the two borderline actors.
One day Mario-Othello is almost paralyzed on stage, unable to play the final scene with the killing of Sonia-Desdemona. Luigi and Anna have a violent argument about how to sort out the situation. Luigi wants to preserve the artistic result, while Anna is worried for Mario and Sonia.
Paloschi, the director of the theatre, convinces a famous theatre critic to come to the opening night. Luigi changes his mind about an extreme and violent show and allows Mario and Sonia to act a scene, which will be psychologically reassuring for both of them.
The night before the show, Luigi is distressed by the fear of remaining a minor theatre director, as well as by his solitude. He decides not to give up his dream, though. A few minutes before the show, he swallows several pills that he stole from Mario and he gets on the stage together with Mario and Sonia, representing his own death, slow and inexorable, in front of the audience.
Project Title (Original Language):Otello Shock
Number of Pages:87
Country of Origin:Italy
Giulio Baraldi, actor, producer, scriptwriter, lives and works in Berlin, after a twenty years’ stage career in Italy.
In 2014 he founded the Kess Film film studio with which, in addition to "Dust", he has written, produced and played a part in his first feature film: "Suddenly Komir", a German-Italian co-production, presented at the recent Cannes Film Festival - Marché du Film (Film Market.)
Now he lives in Berlin.
Othello Shock is the story of a theatre director - a lonely men who has been deserted by everybody but does not want to give up his dream: making a show that will make the history of theatre. At the same time, Othello Shock is not just a work for insiders.
It talks about the theatrical profession with real ingredients and credible situations; about human misery and the fire of passion that brings everybody together. It talks about Shakespeare, the artists and their contradictions, but without parodies or useless intellectualisms. Above everything else, it talks about that spasmodic search for poetry and beauty that I have experienced during many years on stage. A life that makes you throw yourself into things heart and soul, without a safety net or a parachute, in the name of a stronger inner utopia.
Last but not least, it talks about schizophrenia. I tried to keep myself away from the classical romantic similarities between art and madness – as well as from the mentally ill who are suddenly saved by a miracle and capable of anything, in the name of a Hollywood fairytale.
I wanted to tell the story of a fragile couple in love – they almost seem to sneak away. I was inspired by the diaries of two real people that faced their condition with non-conventional treatments.
This is a show with poetical characters, who keep fighting, regardless of the times we are living in. And regardless of the fact that art is not a priority for people anymore.
It talks about the present times. The emotion of the bodies under a light projector becomes cinema. It is a movie that is born inside the theatre, without special effects but with plenty of feelings.
Making this movie is like closing your eyes and leave. Meet up in a theatre, like a bunch of revolutionaries, sharing the same utopia that comes out of the text and turns into a much wider vision.
Somebody once said that it’s better to write about things we know.
This idea has grown inside my head for many years and then, finally, it took shape.
It became a script, which I wrote at night in order to feel that unique atmosphere and concentration that only the silence and the darkness of the theatre can give you.
Like a meditation, which is artistic and personal at the same time.
This work is extremely personal, which is why I feel the need to share it.
I therefore would like to thank you for the attention and the care that you will give to this text. I would also like to thank you for any feedback you will give me.